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The Dweghom

The Dweghom are the firstborn children of War and their long history is steeped in warfare and loss. Originally crafted by the dragons as a race of peerless craftsmen, their Ancestors were forged to be the ultimate servitors; hardy, industrious, loyal and dedicated to the creation of beauty. Their lifespans were vastly extended and their memories made deep and enduring, so that the secrets of their craft would not be lost from generation to generation. For millennia, they labored for their masters and the Dragons thrived. Matchless artifacts and beautiful relics swelled the Dragon hoards, while the Rooks, the dragons’ lairs, were transformed into marvels of architecture and engineering.

Revolts and uprisings were all but unknown, as loyalty had been imprinted into their very essence and they found it impossible to raise weapons against their masters, once one of them joined the fray directly. [break]Those few rebellions that did occur were swiftly put down, their leaders rounded up and executed, while the followers were exiled to the unforgiving depths of their vast mine networks to toil in the dark and dangerous passages close to Destruction's heart.But the dragons had wrought their craft too well. Those Ancestors who were exiled to the depths were bowed, but far from broken. Their gift of memory stoked the fires of their fury, fueling their determination to bring down their masters. Their tunnels delved ever deeper into the hidden places of the earth, the cool stillness of those dark chambers echoing with their anger as they dug, the quiet slowly giving way to the seething wrath of the planet’s core. There, surrounded by a fury and rage that dwarfed even their own, they came across their doom, as well as their salvation. Bound by the Dragons in Primordial Earth and Fire since Eӓ itself was still young, it had languished in the smothering embrace of his chthonian tomb for eons uncounted, beyond the reach of the mortal races; or so the Dragons thought. Every rage fueled strike of the Ancestors’ pickaxes and every angry, shattering blow of their hammers had become a prayer, turning their ordeal into a pilgrimage that burrowed through not only the miles of obdurate stone that separated them, but across the very borders of reality itself, until they stood before the throne and prison of War, the Second Horseman and Incarnate Soul of Destruction.

All Dweghom are taught this memory, Dheureghodh, the Breaking, by their Mnemancers. It was then that the very race and fate of the Dweghom were altered forever, finding the means of their freedom in War’s prison and War itself. Physically changed by their sojourn and efforts in War’s prison, their bodies swelled with the gifts of Primal Fire and Earth. They became tremendously resistant to fire, heat and its effects also needing far less food and rest that their physiology would otherwise dictate. A remarkably large percentage of the Dweghom population also displays the Gift. Gifted Dweghom are characterized by tremendous potency, but very little control. Some of them see this as a byproduct of the manner in which they came into these powers; a poisoned gift from a capricious master. A Dweghom who does not master them is doomed to be consumed by them.

Their return from War’s prison heralded the end of countless millennia of peace. Gone was the time of short-lived rebellions. This conflict would not be a rebellion, a battle of subjects against their master, but a true War, a contest of equals. Wielding the power and will to shake the very foundations of the world, the Dweghom looked at their creators in the eyes and took the fight to the Dragon Rooks, plunging the whole world into chaos and flame. When the ashes of that conflict finally cooled, only the Dweghom were left standing. Driven by their own unreasoning and bitter pride, they had quenched their fury in the blood of their makers… and their ancestors. Of the Dragon Rooks and their loyal slave population only cinders remained.

Alas, War’s teachings resent peace and Memory does not bring unity. In the centuries after the Dragons were eradicated and their slave population destroyed, the Dweghom lost their focus. Sickened by their belligerence, the High King and his family abdicated their leadership. Alone and without a purpose to guide them, the Dweghom called upon their Mnemancers to lay their deeds before them and build their new society. They looked upon their past, their future and each other and promptly disagreed.

The Memory Wars that ensued have never truly ended. Divided by castes, clans and beliefs, the Dweghom walked perilously close to extinction. Only their very survival as a race compelled them to withdraw to their Holds. The scars of this conflict run deep and to this day their civilization is a shattered mosaic of conflict.

Split between the fanatical Ardent, the gifted Tempered and the civilian populous, Dweghom society is riven through and through. Violent confrontations between members of these factions are a common sight, where long standing feuds can spark isolated incidents into full-fledged internecine warfare at a moment's notice. Leadership within each hold rests on a tenuous distribution of responsibilities and power between these three castes, established and held only through a delicate balance of violence, compromise and efficiency, under the supervision and guidance of the Mnemancers. One of the only things the leadership can agree on is that internal conflicts can be set aside in the face of an exterior enemy; as a result, most Dweghom hosts are in a state of perpetual conflict and ever ready to bring War to any brave, or foolish, enough to give them cause.